7 honest tips when you feel like you don't belong anywhere (2023)

We all need to feel that we belong, that we are where we are meant to be, with the people we are meant to be with.

But for many of us, that crucial sense of belonging doesn't really exist.

Some of us might force the feeling or pretend to feel it; others may hide from feelings they don't quite belong with.

What are you doingwhen you feel you belong? Why do you feel this way and will you always feel this way?

Do not worry. I think most of us have been in this situation where we feel like we don't belong.

I've been there many times. And let these thoughts stop me from doing what I wanted.

But over the years I've also learned a few things that are helping me stop feeling that wayI do not belong to itallow me to take steps to improve things.

In this article, I'm going to explore what it means to belong and why some of us just don't feel it.

Finally, I talk about what you can do to eventually find where you belong, whether that place exists in your head or at some other stage in your life.

What does belonging mean?

A sense of belonging is something we all strive for, whether we know it or not.

Feeling like you belong somewhere (or even with someone) is just as important to your happiness and contentment as feeling fulfilled, needed, or wanted.

Because belonging to a place, whether physical or symbolic, is different from being wanted or needed there.

It's a feeling that you should be here, and whatever your destination, it's intrinsically tied to where you belong.

In short, for many of us, belonging means being.

Finding where we belong begins the path to a better understanding of ourselves, to finding that one purpose: why would you get up and worry? Why would you live another day, force another smile, pay another bill?

People find belonging in all sorts of things, be it:

  • your career or your job
  • your hobbies and passions
  • your close friends
  • his family
  • your personal goals
  • your community in general
  • Your own sense of accomplishment and accomplishment.

But not everyone learns to belong, or they lose parts of themselves that tied them to where they belong, and now they feel helpless.

And the worst feeling in the world is the feeling of not having a place in people's lives and not belonging anywhere.

It was the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow who attempted to understand human motivation and desire in his hierarchy of needs model.

The need to feel "love and belonging" came second only to our physiological needs and our security needs; As soon as we take care of our home, food, and work, we begin to satisfy the need to belong.

But belonging isn't always easy, and the modern world doesn't make it any easier.

We have more time to think than ever before, but it seems we have less raison d'être.

What positive purpose are we really serving the community around us when so much of our world has turned inward, connecting virtually rather than in person?

More and more people are losing touch with belonging, and this is causing social unrest that millions of us are dealing with internally.

There is a growing individual emptiness in all of us; the feeling of being alone and alone even when surrounded by people.

The problem?

We understand the feeling of not belonging.

We often confuse this with feelings like loneliness, boredom, and depression, so we try to fill the gap the same way we would solve those problems; Surrounding yourself with people, being constantly overexcited, or taking medication to feel better.

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In fact, we never really get to the root of our problems: the reality that we don't feel like we belong and don't even know where to begin.

So understand what your affiliation means to you.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is your personal understanding of belonging? How do you define it?
  • What are the exact elements that you think you would feel like belonging to?
  • Is your solution to feeling included realistic, healthy, and doable?
  • Where or how did you learn your definition of belonging?

Before you can learn to fit in, whether for the first time or again, you need to understand what's missing in your life and what you can do to fix it.

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Why don't you feel like you belong?

To understand why you feel like you don't belong, you need to understand your own psyche.

Because the feeling of not belonging is not always that easy; It's not always that you obviously don't fit in with the people around you.

Sometimes it's an issue that exists solely in your mind, so you need to track down the source of your negative beliefs.

I used to feel like I didn't belong because I didn't share interests (or even values) with my circle of friends. Most of my friends are from my school days.

Once I understood why I felt like I didn't belong, I worked to solve the problem by building friendships with people who had interests similar to mine.

It made a big difference.

It was also a huge relief, because once you understand why you feel like you don't belong, you'll understand that you're okay.

There is a reason for everything, and understanding why you don't feel like you belong will give you more clarity about how you want to live your life going forward.

Here are some deep-seated possible reasons why you might feel like you don't belong:

1) You were not very close to your family

Negative childhood experiences are often the first thing psychiatrists and psychologists look for when trying to understand existing negative thoughts in an adult because our childhood shapes so much of who we are.

A sense of belonging comes primarily from our family life and whether your parents and family did a good job of making you feel that you would receive unconditional love and a permanent home.

While childhood trauma and other adverse childhood experiences can profoundly negatively impact our sense of identity, you don't necessarily have to experience something "great" in your childhood to be negatively impacted.

Sometimes it can just be a lifetime of subtle pain that makes you feel like you can never count on your family to be there when you need them.

2) You are smarter than your peers

Belonging means feeling like you're with other people who are just like you, but that can be hard to feel when you know that not everyone around you has the same mental capacity as you.

That doesn't mean you're better than your peers just because you're smarter than them, but it can be a lot harder to connect with people when you feel like you always have to stoop to their level, just to communicate.

As the old saying goes, if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

We want to be with people who make us more valuable; People who can teach us, who can surprise us, and who can help us to be better versions of ourselves.

If you are significantly smarter than everyone around you, then there is no one around you who can help you think outside the box.

3) They have different religious or political beliefs

Just as intellect is important in determining whether we belong to the right group, so are our religious and political beliefs.

Our personal values ​​shape who we are, and if we're constantly at odds with the actions and thoughts of those who should be our friends, we'll never feel like we're in the right place.

Ask yourself: What is important to you? Are you liberal or conservative? Do you value giving back to the community or growing your own wealth? Do you want people who will inspire you to work, achieve, and achieve, or would you rather surround yourself with people who are happy with what they have?

Understand your personal values ​​and try to compare them to those around you.

If you can't find many or any similarities, this might not be a good choice.

(Video) Why You Feel Like You Don't Belong

4) You don't look like the people around you

It may seem superficial, but it can be surprising how much our animal brains are influenced by the visual cues around us.

Whether in your family or in your community in general, if you don't really "like" the people around you, it can be a little harder to feel fully included, especially if you're the only person who doesn't have T. belong just like everyone else.

Whether it's because of your weight, height, skin color, or even hair color, it's important for people to have a family or community with the same characteristics.

Our psyche and ego are partly defined by the person we see in the mirror, and this is amplified when we see people around us with similar characteristics.

5) You want other things in the lives of people around you

Ultimately, it might just be your ambitions.

It's not always about who you are now, because who you woke up with today doesn't define you as a person.

You are also defined by who you want to be in a year or ten years; the person you want to become.

And when we constantly struggle to define our goals and ambitions for those around us, we can feel disconnected and disconnected from those who should be closest to us.

That's why a sense of belonging can come out of nowhere, even if you've felt like you belonged all your life.

It could be that something broke inside you and you're not the person you always were and now you just don't fit the way you always did.

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Everyday reasons you don't feel like you belong

While external factors can definitely affect the way you interact with other people, sometimes our own emotional blocks make it difficult to connect with others.

Isolation and a little lostness don't always come from external stimuli.

Unknowingly, we have developed habits and personalities that make it difficult for us to connect with other people, even though we try.

As you remove these obstacles, you'll learn how to better connect with people, and you'll have an easier time finding a place you can truly call home.

Here are some "everyday" habits that can make it difficult for you to connect with others:

6) You lack resilience

I get the feeling that you don't belong sucks. You are always looking for your tribe, the people you fit in with and are comfortable with.

Well, I can't tell you exactly when you'll feel like you belong, but what I can say for sure is that you need one thing to find these people:


Without resilience, most of us give up on the things we want. Most of us struggle to live a life worth living.

And when it comes to fitting in and finding the right people for you, it doesn't happen overnight. You have to cope with every setback and persevere.

7) You don't open up

This one is a no-brainer.

Even in the age of oversharing, some people find it difficult to open up.

Introverts and people who are naturally quiet may have a harder time finding their pack simply because they haven't really tried to get that involved.

You don't have to be the heart of the party to make friends.

Offering information about yourself, being curious about other people's lives, and genuinely listening to others tell their stories are all easy ways to open up.

8) You are ridiculously shy

It's okay to be shy. Not everyone likes to be the center of attention, but shyness is high.

If you find that your shyness is really preventing you from talking to strangers or having fun at a social event, you might want to do something to break your shell.

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For starters, you can practice with friends and acquaintances instead of going straight to strangers.

Familiar people provide a sense of security that can encourage you to communicate and get more involved.

Take small steps to build your confidence. After all, social skill is like a muscle; The more you practice and use it, the stronger you will be as a communicator.

9) You're not really listening

There is talk and then there is a lot of talk.

If you find that reaching people isn't the problem, remember that your weakness may be stagnant.

Some people talk a lot but are incredibly poor listeners.

You might unknowingly alienate your friends because they never feel like they have a say.

The next time a friend tells a story, try just listening instead of telling yours. Just listening is a great way to build deeper connections with others. Let other people know that you value their company and their voice and make the company that much more enjoyable.

10) You're trying too hard

It takes effort to build friendships and relationships, but it's always good to understand where your limits lie.

Showering your friends with too much affection or being overly enthusiastic can seem arrogant and discourage you a bit.

If your attempts to win other people's affection backfire, take a step back and relax.

Remember that nobody likes someone who tries too hard because it can seem like a sign of insecurity.

11) You care a lot about what people think

Worrying too much about what other people think can keep you from really being there for them.

If you are too preoccupied with your own thoughts, you cannot be in the moment and participate naturally.

To avoid coming across as awkward or even arrogant, relax by asking people questions instead of talking to the manager.

Listening gives you a chance to step back and relax a little while you collect your thoughts and collect yourself.

12) You just aren't trying hard enough

Maybe one of the reasons you feel like you don't belong is because you're just not trying hard enough.

Friends keep inviting you to parties and office mates ordering a round of drinks, and stillYou still feel like you're floating aimlessly in an empty universe.

Again, feelings of isolation don't always come from the outside.

If you still feel this way even though other people are trying to pull you out of your shell, take a little initiative to socialize instead of waiting for that sense of belonging to fall into your lap.

7 ways to help you achieve your own belonging

Socializing and forging bonds are great ways to feel like you belong somewhere, but you'll never feel a part of something bigger unless you work on your insecurities.

Finding comfort in who you are, alone, without the constant need for stimulation, is a prerequisite for feeling confident.

Here are four fundamentals to help create that sense of security:

1) Fulfill your dreams

Profession and calling are two different things.

You might make $10,000 a month, but that means nothing if you're overworked and miserable all the time.

Humans are naturally inclined to seek meaning and purpose in their lives.

How can you hope to belong when you feel unable to fulfill your own desires and goals?

Take the time to understand what your dreams are and take careful, measured steps toward them.

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2) Make your own definition of cool

Remember those kids in high school who were "too nice" for you?

Some kids never get over it and avoid certain types of people or, worse, believe they would never fit in a "cool" crowd.

Instead of trying to fit the mold, set your own definition of cool.

If you don't like people who party every week or drink every weekend, maybe it's because those people aren't your people.

Follow your instincts and stop creating an idealized version of friendship.

Hang out with people you really like, rather than trying to fit into a group you don't necessarily connect with.

3) Accept who you really are

Remember what we said about trying too hard? You can surround yourself with people, but you won't really feel connected to any of them just by wearing a mask.

We tend to adopt a personality and do or say things that we don't really identify with in order to please others. This habit creates a discrepancy between how people perceive us and who we really are.

This leads to unsatisfactory relationships with others and increases feelings of isolation.

4) Know your worth

Ultimately, feeling included is just understanding that being who you are is enough.

Insecurities can convince us that we don't even belong in the friendliest group.

In this case, it's up to us to convince ourselves otherwise and work to become more confident people.

When you finally understand your worth, you will realize that you don't have to be that imaginary person in your head to be wanted or loved.

Three nuggets of encouragement to remember when you're feeling loneliest

When you're feeling hopelessor a little lonely, know you're not the only one.

In a world saturated with interaction, it can be a little ironic that liking, sharing, and commenting makes you feel lonelier than ever. And that's okay.

The modern world makes it hard to find real connections in an endless sea of ​​interactions.

The feeling of not really belonging is something everyone goes through.

Sometimes it can feel a little hopeless, like you'll never find a place where you finally feel at home, but the good news is that feeling doesn't last forever.

Next time you feel a little lost in this busy world, try to remember one of the following:

5) People really love you

You may feel like you don't belong among your friends, but remember that they chose you for a reason.

Your friends like you just the way you are, and even if you're not yet who you want to be, you find that they already love who you are now.

6) You don't have to look up who you are to find best friends

You don't have to make major changes in who you are to finally be with the people you love.

You are fine just the way you are and you already have so many amazing qualities that make you a great friend. Don't be too hard on yourself and take your time.

7) Maybe you just need time

Maybe you haven't found the right people yet. Maybe you're worried about work or school and haven't had a chance to meet people who are very similar to you.

It's a bit lonely now, but take comfort in the knowledge that there are people out there just like you, wondering where you are.

Keep building what you build until you finally get a chance to be part of a tribe.

When you're done, you'll have a lot more to offer for having been patient enough to build your character first.

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